Tag Archives: filing bankruptcy Pro Se

Can You File Bankruptcy Without a Lawyer?

Bankruptcy law has evolved into a volume business for most attorneys which specialize in the bankruptcy field. Bankruptcy firms handle many cases, and the average person can afford to hire a bankruptcy lawyer. In most cases, the average debtor who files bankruptcy works exclusively with paralegals and assistants and sees the lawyer only during court appearances.

Can you file a bankruptcy without a lawyer? Misunderstanding of the process is one reason many bankrupt debtors want to file Pro Se. The Latin words Pro Se literally means in English “for oneself.” Filing bankruptcy Pro Se is when you do not enlist the paid help of an attorney.

Anyone can file for bankruptcy protection without the aid of a lawyer. There is no law that says you cannot file Pro Se. Filing Pro Se can be effective and cost efficient for some people, but filing Pro Se is not for everyone. If you can read well, retain what you read, are detail oriented, and have a good mind for understanding the nuances of what you have read, then you might be a good candidate to file Pro Se.

Bankruptcy laws are sometimes complicated. Stress is also a factor you might want to consider before filing. If you are bankruptcy, adding the additional responsibilities of learning all you will need to know to file bankruptcy for yourself will be time consuming and pressure packed. The process can overwhelm many individuals who are not prepared. Keep in mind, certain mistakes can cause a case to be dismissed or add additional costs.

Here are some pros and cons for filing a bankruptcy Pro Se or using a bankruptcy attorney:

  1. You can save the cost of an attorney if you file Pro Se. Depending on the type of bankruptcy, the average cost in the United States for hiring an attorney has cost $750 or more.
  2. Filing Pro Se can be a rewarding learning experience, but the experience can be time consuming and stressful.
  3. Sometimes it can be cheaper in the long run to hire a bankruptcy attorney. A lack of experience almost always causes errors, and errors can cost you money.
  4. Bankruptcy attorneys normally have experience with the system. They understand the ins and outs that might save time and money. They are normally familiar with the local bankruptcy court, the judges, and the trustees.
  5. Bankruptcy attorneys can act as your adversary, for instance, when a creditor or trustee objects to your bankruptcy plan.
  6. Filing Pro Se puts you in control of your time, and you always know where your team is during the process. Good communication can accomplish the same thing with a law firm, and you should have more free time.
  7. Bankruptcy lawyers have special training and know the right questions to ask. Do you know the right questions to ask when filing Pro Se?

Whether you file Pro Se or not is a personal choice. If you need relief from the stress of debt and you live in or around the metropolitan area of Tulsa, Oklahoma, contact us at www.bankruptcyhome.com . We will help you find a bankruptcy lawyer in your area who will answer your bankruptcy questions.















Individuals File Involuntary Bankruptcy Against Bank

There are two forms of bankruptcies- voluntary and involuntary. Although rare, an involuntary bankruptcy occurs when a creditor legally forces a debtor into bankruptcy. A creditor can petition a U.S. Bankruptcy Court to place a debtor into bankruptcy but certain criteria has to be met or the case will be dismissed by the court.

Recently 25 individuals petitioned the District of Colorado bankruptcy court to place Bank of America into involuntary bankruptcy. The petitioners claimed the bank owed them more than $60 million.

Michael E. Romero, a bankruptcy judge for the District Bankruptcy Court of Colorado, received the petition, heard responses from both sides, and made a ruling to dismiss the bankruptcy case on June 21, 2011. Judge Romero also ruled that Bank of America had until July 8, 2011, to file a motion requesting an award of costs, fees, and damages pursuant to bankruptcy code 303 (i)(1).

What does this ruling means to the 25 filing individuals who filed the petition Pro Se?  Bank of America was not forced into bankruptcy, and they may now be responsible for Bank of America’s legal fees and damages.

Bank of America raised four questions in its defense: 1) Whether or not the Court had jurisdiction to hear the case; 2) Whether or not the petitioning creditors were eligible to file an involuntary petition; 3) Whether or not Bank of America was eligible to be a debtor under an involuntary filing for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy; and 4) Whether or not the petition was filed in good faith.

Judge Romero made no ruling on the question of jurisdiction since he found other grounds to dismiss the case. He found the petitioners were ineligible to file the petition based on lack of documentation.  He ruled they provided no evidence that Bank of America owed them money.

Judge Romero also found Bank of America could not be a debtor under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Finally, he postponed his decision on whether or not the petitioners acted in good faith, an issue which can be decided later if Bank of America files a motion for damages.

It will be interesting to learn the effect Judge Romero’s ruling will have on the 25 individuals. According to court documents, Bank of America researched the group and found they had business relations with only some of them, either currently or in the past. Some had owned homes which had been foreclosed by Bank of America, while others were debtors whom filed bankruptcies listing Bank of America as creditors.

Certain actions taken by a creditor, like a foreclosure, can force you into a voluntarily bankruptcy filing, but if a creditor has a legitimate reason to file an involuntary bankruptcy against you, they will normally do so to protect the assets you currently own. Historically, when creditors file an involuntary bankruptcy, debtors will respond by voluntarily filing their own bankruptcy.

If you need relief from the stress of debt and you live in or around the metropolitan areas of New Haven or Meriden, Connecticut, contact us at www.BankruptcyHome.com . We will help you find a bankruptcy attorney in your area who will answer your bankruptcy questions.